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Cota’s injury further dampens VOL loss for Timberwolves

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POSTED September 24, 2011 2:20 a.m.

OAKDALE — Oakdale scored the game’s last 35 points Friday night to come from behind and defeat visiting Sierra 45-14 at The Corral to open the Valley Oak League campaign.

Timberwolves workhorse Anthony Cota came out on fire, gaining 103 yards on nine carries with a 35-yard touchdown in just over a quarter of play before being forced to leave the game with a wrist injury. Sierra would not score again.

“It’s football,” Mustangs coach Trent Merzon said of Cota’s injury. “It happens at every level. Look what happened to the Colts this year. It can change the game drastically.”

Anthony Perea hit Zach Penirian with a 30-yard touchdown pass to start the night’s scoring with 7:54 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 Timberwolves lead. Perea was 14 of 21 passing for 152 yards with four interceptions and a touchdown along with 86 yards on 15 carries. Penirian had seven receptions for 78 yards along with an interception and Jordan Lewis had six receptions for 72 yards.

Sierra had 380 total yards with 228 rushing yards on 38 carries, while Oakdale racked up 522 total yards, grinding out 393 yards rushing on 45 carries.

“I thought we should have played better defensively,” Timberwolves coach Jeff Harbison said. “I feel like our offense was able to move the ball, but you can’t turn the ball over like we did against a team like Oakdale.”

Marcus Hernandez scored on runs of 1 yard, 2 and 22 yards for the Mustangs, gaining 135 yards on 17 carries. Spencer Thomas hit Austin Jones with a 17-yard touchdown pass and finished 5 of 11 passing for 129 yards with an interception and Marcus Northcutt gained 192 yards on 16 carries with a 12-yard touchdown run.

Ike Dodson of the Oakdale Leader contributed to this report.

Sonora 34, Weston Ranch 29

SONORA — Two touchdowns by the Wildcats in less than a minute late in the fourth quarter offset a fine performance by Cougars quarterback James Simerly and gave host Sonora the win at Dunlavy Field.

 “I am pleased with our attitude, and we have shown we can play with anybody,” Weston Ranch coach Mike Hale said. “We are physical and we need to cut down on our mistakes to get over that hump. We are taking teams to the wire, looking for our chance to win.”

With 2:50 left in the game James Simerly — who was 9 of 16 passing for 272 yards with three touchdowns and an interception — found Ken Williams with an 82-yard scoring pass to come within 34-29. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Wildcats got a key first down and were able to run out the clock.

Simerly connected with Alex Esan on a 21-yard scoring pass to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead and late in the first quarter Donnell Sims put Weston Ranch ahead 14-7 on a 2-yard scoring plunge. Simerly and Williams connected on a 25-yard scoring pass with 1:56 left in the third quarter for a 23-14 lead.

Williams made four catches for 143 yards, and teammate Candelario Elizondo ground out 54 yards on 13 attempts.

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